Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has officially rolled out Africa’s first Central Bank Digital Currency eNaira, Nigeria’s official broadcasting station Voice of Nigeria reported today.
Built on the technology of the open-source blockchain Hyperledger Fabric, e-Naira is a digital currency that is exchanged one-on-one with the country’s legal tender, Naira. Oshita Nuwanisobi, director of public relations at the Central Bank of Nigeria, explained:
“Given that the eNaira is a journey, the unveiling marks the first step in that journey, which will continue with a series of further modifications, capabilities, and enhancements to the platforms.
The CBN will continue to work with relevant partners to ensure a seamless process that will benefit every user, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population.”
For the new initiative, the government had made Barbados-based Bitt Inc a technical partner for the development of the digital currency.
Initially, e-Naira was set to operate from October 1, but a company called ENaira Payment Solutions Limited filed a complaint about copyright infringement. The rollout was temporarily postponed due to the lawsuit but the Nigerian High Court subsequently approved the introduction of e-Naira.
“Accordingly, following Monday’s formal launch by the President, the Bank will further engage various stakeholders as we enter a new age consistent with global financial advancement.”